Dot (L) and Kim Campi (R) talk about blending their families when Dot married Kim’s father in the early 1960s.
Dot Campi (DC): A friend that I work with said to me ”Oh Dot you gotta meet this great guy, just recently widowed and he’s lonely…’ And I said ’Okay.’ And so we met. And I don’t know how it came about but he said he was looking for a mother for his 5 kids. I said ’Don’t look at me, what do I want with 5 more kids.’
But I fell hard and deep. And several people said to me ’You’re marrying this guy and he has 5 kids, what are you crazy?’ And I said ’Well I love him so much, I’ll learn to love those kids.’
And then as the marriage progressed I used to tell him quite often, ’You know Ronnie, you’re lucky you had these kids cause I never would have stayed here without them.’
Kim Campi (KC): Do you remember when you first met me?
DC: Yes, and I don’t know if you’ll remember this but you and David used to call me lady. It was ’lady. Lady.’ And one of the cutest things is that you used to say: ’You know lady, my mother had red shoes.’ Do you remember that Kim?’
KC: I do remember that.
DC: And so we have the five Campi kids, I had one daughter and then we had three together. And I remember always saying I want to be a mother not a stepmother. So that’s why we didn’t say, ’Well that’s your Mom and that’s your Dad. You know, it’s this is my brother this is my sister, this is my mother and this is my father.’ And just recently someone said to me that they love coming to my house and looking at those nine pictures over the piano. And they would say ’Which one is yours, which ones are Ronnie’s, and which ones are the ones you had together? And I gotta tell you a lot of people don’t know where one family starts and the other one ends.
KC: um huh.
DC: And you know, I wish I could have made my first marriage a success. But when I think about that I think gee all I would have is Mona. And look what I have now.